August 30, 2009

Barnum & Bailey Circus Ticket give-a-way!

The last time I went to the circus was probably 11 years ago with my husband, his sister and his father. This was in the early stages of our relationship and I remember he bought me a stuffed tiger that we named Bailey (get it? - Barnum &? - lame I know) and I remember thinking how sweet I thought it was, showing that kind of affection for me in front of his father and sister. I still love that tiger and my daughter now snuggles with Bailey every night.

Fast forward to now and we have not been back - pathetic - the circus rules! That is why I am SUPER excited about this. I have 4 free tickets to give to a reader for the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus Show coming to Kansas City in September!! It is a 4-Pack for opening night (Wednesday, September 16th).

For those of you who do not win the free tickets, I still have a savings deal for you.

Ringling Bros. Coupon Code Details
  • The coupon code will be MOM — you can get four tickets for $44 for all weekday shows and any additional tickets are still priced at $11. The code will also give you $4 off all tickets for weekend shows.
  • The tickets can be purchased from <> and by entering the MOM code in the “MC promotion” box when purchasing tickets.
  • Minimum purchase of 4 tickets required
  • Offer not valid on Circus Celebrity, Front Row, or VIP seating.
  • Cannot be combined with other offers. Service Charges, facility & handling fees will apply.
All Access Preshow
  • Be sure to get to the arena early to check out the All Access Preshow. The Preshow begins at 6:00pm and will give you a chance to head down to the circus floor to meet the performers, get autographs, try on costumes, and clown around! This is free for all ticket holders.
Okay so how to win the free tickets. Just sign up to be a follower of my blog and submit a comment to this post explaining why your family should be the ones to get these awesome tickets! Also, make sure and let me know if you post information about this give-a-way anywhere (Facebook, Twitter, your blog, someone else's blog, etc.) and you will get extra entries into the ticket drawing. Winner will be selected at random and announced on Sunday September 6th.

Thank you and good luck to everyone!

August 28, 2009

That Tux!

As you might now by now, my husband and I are very fancy. Okay not really. Since I work from home, it is a big day when I get my shower in before 2:00 PM and my husband works in the creative world so the last time I saw him in a pair of khaki pants was somewhere before Y2K. That is why I find it very odd that we are buying him a tux.

Tonight we are going to our second black tie event in 2 months. Now, I love to dress up. I got that from my mom who always looks like a million bucks. Unlike her, I am okay with leaving the house un-showered to drop the kiddos off at school. When I was little my mother would have curled her hair, painted her fingernails, ironed a dress and put on high heels before she got us to school.

My mom uniform in the summer is black running pants, Fit Flops (if you don't have a pair, you must get them they are so comfy), a t-shirt for exercising in and either my OU or KU visor (depends on my mood).

The winter mom uniform is very similar except sports a black North Face jacket on top of it all - oh and tennis shoes instead of Fit Flops. I'm not the only one who dresses like that though. I cracked up one day as I was standing outside my daughter's classroom to pick her up - 6 other moms in the hallway had the exact same outfit on - including the jacket!

Since I rarely get out of anything that isn't made of stretchy gore-tex material, I love dressing up, putting on my fancy jewelry and doing my hair and nails - and I love going to these events. I have a million things to wear to them. These type of events are popping up more on our social calendar lately and it has been fun. We are nowhere near like my parents who wear tuxes (well my dad, not my mom) more times a year than I probably shower, but for us casual, unkempt folks every two months is pretty often. From what I gather it is less expensive to purchase a tux for my hubby than to keep renting them - and who wants to wear pants another man has worn, anyway?

Now if I can just get him to shave...

August 25, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My!

Last week we went way up north in Minnesota for a family reunion with my husband's family. They have been going to this area for like 25 years or so. His aunt and uncle have a beautiful vacation home and normally we stay there. Due to a leak, dumb insurance agencies, etc. their home is gutted and we had to rent a place.

His aunt and uncle got there first and had gone to bed by the time we (me, husband, kiddos) arrived. This was the middle of the woods, it was late at night and we couldn't tell all that much other than it was a huge new log cabin. Without turning on many lights we grabbed a loft bedroom so as not to awaken anyone and went to bed.

Sunlight rolled around and scared the crap out of us. There were HUGE dead animals all over the walls. I'm talking bears, a bobcat, large fish, deer, mooses - or is it meeses, moosai? anyway - a freaking warthog, kittens (okay not really) and many other things that once innocently roamed the woods were mounted everywhere.

Let me state that I really don't have many thoughts either way on hunting. I personally wouldn't do it but I understand the need for hunting deer as they get over populated and run into the highways posing a danger to drivers, etc. I do however know that I do not want to stare at a large dead animal as I try to sleep or eat dinner.

For an entire week my 2 year old walked around saying "hi doggy, hi polar bear!" (NOTE: there were no dogs nor polar bears on the wall but if you read my blog with any consistency you already know that my son is animal challenged).

Poor little Z kept asking the animals to come and to play with him - like he does with our dogs at home. The difference is that our dogs love to play with him when he asks because they are not stuffed and hanging on our walls.

The really odd thing is that after a week all those carcases actually start to blend in and you don't notice them as much, which is almost more disturbing.

August 23, 2009

Great News! My daughter can be bribed with money!

I find bribery a very effective and genius form of parenting. Yes, I know, I hear it all the time, I really should write a parenting book.

Anyway, I've utilized bribery since the day my kids could talk but up to this point it has been very expensive. Bribing two children with a new toy or a trip to get ice cream can really add up when you do it between seven and twelve times a day. We have often tried to go the cheaper route of "hey I'll give you a dollar if you do such and such" - but it has never worked as my four year old always had the same response.

"Why do I need money when you have it?"

On our family vacation this past week we reached a major milestone in our lives! When our daughter got up at an ungodly hour, my husband offered her a dollar to go back to bed and she said "OK!" Let me tell you, that was money well spent and it was the first time that bribe has ever worked. E trotted off to her bed, I passed out back to slumberland and had a dream and everything. It was pure bliss and it only cost us $1. Ahhh, she is really growing up, this is a very exciting day in our big girl's life, definitely something worth writing in her baby book!

The bonus is that I can now make her buy her own toys and teach her the value of a dollar by discussing how much she has and what she can buy - saving me oodles of money and teaching her valuable life lessons. Clearly all those nay sayers out there who don't believe in bribery are so wrong.

August 13, 2009

The Thumb...

Anyone know how to break the thumb sucking habit? I have a very good friend who sucked her thumb forever. I distinctly remember going to the pharmacy with said friend and her mom to get some sort of stuff that supposedly tasted awful when applied to the thumb. Back then, it was probably toxic as well. Anyway, my friend liked the taste of it and it didn't deter her from thumb sucking a bit.

Our daughter was a pacifier kid. She wasn't that hard to break of the habit either. She made it all very simple.

Our son is thumb sucker. He would not take the pacifier no matter what we did - all he wanted was his thumb. Luckily he only sucks his thumb when he is tired. He isn't an all day sucker like some children are and his dentist has said it is not harming his teeth yet. Even so, I'm wondering how we break this habit. Short of cutting Z's thumb off, I have no ideas. Apparently my father sucked his thumb until he was like 12 or something silly like that. There are many amazing qualities that I hope my son picks up from my father, but holding the Guinness Book of World records for longevity of thumb sucking is not one of them.

As much as I'd love to end the habit, I've got to say he looks pretty darn cute doing it.

Yes, he is sleeping on the floor in this photo - don't judge.

August 11, 2009

Life lessons from a 2 year old

It is possible to have a split personality at 2? Cuz' I think my son has one. He can be the most gentle loving angel on the planet. He will look at me and say "I wuh you mama" and it is so genuine and sweet it brings tears to my eyes. Then with the next breath he slaps me across the face - which also brings tears to my eyes. What a little monster.

Our daughter has always been more independent than him and not nearly as snuggly - but fun and hilarious in her own way. She is sassy and demanding to a fault, but can flatten me with her observations and jokes.

I have logged hours and hours on end snuggling with our little guy for fear that one day he will stop doing it and I'll have no one to snuggle with. Well, I guess there is always the dogs - oh and my husband.

But this hitting thing is really annoying. He is so good about his apologizing that it melts your heart. "So sorry mama" - aaahhhh - all is forgiven. However, his new thing is pulling that grubby little hand back as far as he can reach and in the process of the hit apologizing profusely. "So, So, So sorry mama" SLAP. And then laughter and a darling crooked teeth smile. It really hurts but it always makes me laugh unfortunately (another example of my solid parenting skills). I think I'm really amazed at how clever he is to apologize while doing something he knows is completely wrong.

I'm thinking I should try this is my daily life. I know I'm not as cute as he is, but really this concept might come in handy at work.

August 10, 2009

Road Trip #2 - Barfing Boogaloo

We got back from our 2nd road trip of the summer last night. The drive back home was just fine (well that is after the emergency room visit from my son playing with rat poisoning - but that's a whole different story). The kids were exhausted after two nights in a row of not getting to bed before 11:30 PM (fantastic parenting on my part) and they sort of just stared out the window quietly. The trip there wasn't exactly so easy.

Before we left, the kids and I went to the library to get some new videos for the road. We got a few of the old regulars, Max & Ruby and Maggie & the Ferocious Beast. But my daughter picked out a new video that we have not seen before - it is a little blue animated guy and the title says "Hi, I'm Todd" - I'll tell you right now that Todd is a jerk.

We were on the road for about an hour and the kids were acting completely insane. They were screaming at the top of their lungs and laughing really hard. It was clearly great fun for them however my husband was about to drive off a bridge on purpose so I went to the old road trip standby and pulled out the video player.

Trying to be different, I pulled out the "Todd" video. Big mistake! All was fine at first and the kids were quiet and watching intently for about 30 minutes. All of a sudden my daughter let out a blood curdling cry and said, "I'm going to throw up!" - I hurriedly dumped everything onto the floor out of a plastic grocery bag I had and threw the bag to her. She just kind of laid there and groaned and complained about her tummy. Of course we were in the middle of nowhere Kansas and there was no place to stop.

My son contently watched the video and ate iced animal crackers, all the while I'm constantly asking my daughter if she wants us to pull over to the side of the road or if she could wait until we found some hole in the wall rest stop.

We were going like 100 miles an hour to find a suitable barfing location. The millionth time I turned around to ask if my daughter was okay, I heard my son cough so my eyes naturally went to him. At that precise moment he projectile vomited everywhere. No warning, no upsetness, no nothing. He then went on to continue to eat his animal crackers.

Strangely my daughter never got sick but she felt terrible for a few minutes. We turned off the video, pulled over, cleaned everything up (well I cleaned everything up, my husband does not do vomit, which works out fine because come to find out, I don't do rat poisoning very well) and went on our way. Everyone was fine from then on. After much discussion about what the kids had eaten, drank, any flu viruses going around, etc. we came to the conclusion that it was that stupid Todd video. What a little blue putz, Charlie and Lola have never made my kids yack on a road trip. I don't know what kind of crazy animation he had going on there but Todd is no longer welcome in our home - err - car.

Glad the road trips are over for the summer - oh, well except that little one we are taking to northern Minnesota - only about a 9 hour drive... Ahhhhhh the memories!

August 5, 2009

Tickle Monster - literally

My son is the WORST tickler on the planet and, unfortunately for everyone who comes in contact with him, he loves to tickle. When Z takes a running start toward you and says "tick, tick, tick, tickle!" you know that is your cue to run. His tickles hurts indescribably bad. I have cut his nails down to the nubs but it doesn't help. The receiver of his tickle torture inevitably ends up looking like they got into a bar fight with a cat. His horribleness is special in that it isn't just the nails, it is the amount of force he puts behind the tickle as well. He digs his little fingers so far into you that I'm surprised he hasn't ripped out someone's organ.

I feel really bad because I always have to discipline the poor kid for tickling which, in most cases, is a normal cute kid thing to do. I have to sound like the meanest mom ever in public when I punish him for tickling his sister. Of course if I ever get a dirty look from a stranger, I'll just sic Z on them and then they will understand.

His little face is always crushed when I get mad at him for it. He is just trying to be sweet and goofy and playful but it isn't normal to have to take a trip to the emergency room after being tickled.

The whole situation reminds me of this episode of friends where Monica gave the worst back rubs and they were extremely painful to everyone she tried to do them to. She was just trying to be nice by rubbing people's backs. Finally she took pride in being the "best worst back rubber" on the planet and she quit doing it.

Not sure how to explain that concept to a 2 year old.

August 2, 2009

Really gotta stop punching my kids

I spent all of Sunday afternoon cleaning out my children's bedrooms. My husband took the kiddos to play with their grandparents and I got to work.

It is never a good thing to have the munchkins here when I go on major cleaning sprees because suddenly items that haven't been seen or thought about for months - items found stuck in the wood grate underneath a bed - become their "very favoritist toy in the world"! Really it's just best that they do not see the books and toys that I donate. Just as I knew would happen, no one even noticed anything was missing when they returned home.

I placed a bag of outgrown clothes ready to pass of to my sister-in-law outside my daughter's room. When my daughter saw the bag, she looked at a few items and we had the following conversation:

E: Mooooom, you can't give these away, if you do I'll get punched!


E: I said, you can't give that sweater away or I'll get punched.

Immediately I was imagining some horrible child at my daughter's school threatening her because the bully wanted that sweater and my daughter was panicked that she would get a beat down if we got rid of it.

ME: Honey, I won't give it away then, can you tell mommy what happened?

E: Remember before I put it on that one day? You punched me!

I've never laid a hand on my child and usually I can decipher where my kids are going with things, but this had me stumped.

ME: Honey, I have never ever punched you and I never will, what on earth are you talking about?

E (getting impatient at this point): Mother, that sweater has green on it and if I don't wear it on Patrick's Birthday you and daddy will punch me!

Ah ha! Mommy interpretation finally kicking in here. She had worn that sweater last St. Patrick's Day and is now worried that she will get pinched if she does not have it anymore.

Glad we got that one cleared up before she blabbed that to anyone outside our house.